HOW & WHY YOU GIVE BACK TO GOD?
PRIORITY #1: OBEDIENCE: GIVING BACK. Out of obedience, you tithe. You are always called to take care of matters at home––God calls you locally, “to Jerusalem” first (Acts 1:8). Each week, we operate the ministry of North Hills Church through the faithfulness of those who actively give back to God. The Scripture teaches this type of giving back (Proverbs 3:9). The word “back” is important because everything we have comes from God to begin with (and, FYI, to end with).
The Biblical pattern was to return a tithe (10%) to the work of God. You would be smart to live giving God control and trusting Him with your 90%, rather than live without giving God control and without trusting in Him, controlling your 100% all by yourself. In today’s world, the tithe is given by trusting God and your local church. The leadership of a local Christian church is entrusted to use this precious resource to advance the Gospel with wisdom, discernment, and keen stewardship. When Christian leaders ask for this guidance, it’s supplied by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joyfully and generously, you simply bring your whole tithe and give it to God through His house, the local church (2 Corinthians 8-9).
Tithing is a matter of obedience. It is a tangible means by which your trust in God can be measured. For example, when you examine your past year, which included tithing, you witness your trust in Him. On the other hand, when you don’t tithe, you see your trust in Him was lacking. There is a quality of life that can only be had by those who really trust in God. This is the only subject in the Bible in which God encourages people to test Him (Malachi 3:10).
PRIORITY #2: GENEROSITY: GIVING AWAY. Secondly, you are called to participate in the Kingdom of God outside the walls of this church. Generosity is an extension of obedience. You recognize how much God has blessed you (especially Americans who experience 29.93% of the world’s wealth, yet only comprise 4.25% of the world’s population), and you are motivated to “give away” out of a spirit of generosity (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Your generous giving is given for the sake of others, considering their needs as more important than your own (Philippians 2:3-4). There is great heavenly value to those who are generous––a secure, eternal investment (not an earthly one) that God personally protects (Matthew 6: 19-21).
PRIORITY #3: SACRIFICE: GIVING UP. Finally, throughout your life, you will be called to special opportunities requiring a significant amount of sacrifice. Sacrifice costs you dearly. It requires “a piece of you.” Sacrifice is a God-inspired trade-off––giving something up so something else can occur.
This is the deepest level of giving and can be experienced only by those who are, first of all, obedient. God clearly desires obedience before sacrifice, not the other way around (1 Samuel 15:22). There is a special joy––words cannot describe––reserved for those who enter through these gates.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)